French Whore with 2 Barf Bags

I’m sitting at gate B-5 at LaGuardia Airport, waiting to fly home to Dallas.  I originally booked this as a 2-day trip to see Myles Kennedy in concert.  I added a day.  I added Doofenshmirtz.  Then added another day.  Then I changed the departure flight time from morning to evening of our final day so that we could have more time in the city.  This is par for the course for me when it comes to traveling here.  I want to stay as long as I can.

Day One was gorgeous.  We spent the whole day exploring, and managed to eat our way through the city.

Day Two (the day of the concert) it rained.  I found out that “K” had gone into the hospital to deliver her baby.  Rhonda’s grandson.  The news made me both happy and emotional.  Then I received news that I had lost a friend to cancer.  This was not unexpected, but the timing was unreal.  I get the whole Ying/Yang thing… but seriously, I would love to have more than 24 hours to enjoy good news before being slammed with bad news.  This seems to happen to me often.

As we stood in the rain, we began to change our course.  We had met Myles two weeks before, and seen him in concert (many times), so we made friends with Myles’ manager, ended up with a very cool non-concert t-shirt, and made friends with a couple VIP’s.  We also made fun of a few self-important assholes, had a bite to eat at Chelsea Market, and watched part of the show.  We ended the day by having burgers delivered and watching reruns of Friends while listening to the city bustle outside our apartment windows.

Day Three (our “las”t day) we set the alarm to make sure we could take full advantage of our time in New York.  And we did just that.  We walked all over and took lots of pictures and ate lots of stuff and enjoyed the day.  It was sunny and warm and seemed a perfect way to end our trip.  We also did lots of shopping.  While in a Japanese Mask Bar, I found a tiny roll-on bottle of perfume that reminded me of 1984.  I had to have it.  I paid for it and dropped it into my purse.

By 4 pm, we were already receiving notifications that our 7:30 flight was delayed till 10:30.  And while that was a bit of an inconvenience, we were kind of happy to have bonus time.  We used that time to enjoy some local pizza.  While waiting for the pizza, I remember marveling about what a wonderful day it had been.

By 7 pm, our flight was delayed even later, and I was told that since it was the last flight out, they couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t be canceled.  So I made the executive decision to reschedule for the next day.

Unfortunately, our “bonus” night in the city was now spent rediscovering the pizza I had eaten hours earlier.  I was grateful to NOT be on a plane during those hours!  34  (I was about to type more details about my food poisoning, but my asshole cat jumped up and, as always, landed square on the keyboard.  I launched her to the other side of the bed, but as I looked down, I realized that she had kitty-typed the number 34.  So I chose to leave that rather than gross you out.  You can thank Elphaba, the asshole cat.)

Day Four (our new last day) By morning, it became clear that I was in no shape to travel.  Doofenshmirtz ran to RiteAid to stock me up on Gatorade and Saltines, and then Ubered to the airport to head home.  I spent the day in bed…gazing sadly out the window at another perfect NY day.  I opened all the windows and listened to the rest of the world enjoying their day.

Day Five (I’m currently at the gate, so unless something happens in the next 20 minutes, this is the “for reals” last day)  I woke up in plenty of time to sip some Gatorade out on the deck and enjoy 30 minutes of another perfect morning.

As I hopped into my Uber, I reached into my bag and grabbed my tiny new bottle of perfume.  I unscrewed the lid and stared out the window as I absentmindedly rolled it behind each ear and onto my wrists  I suddenly realized it wasn’t rolling on…it was pouring out.  Somehow the ball had never been put down into the bottle, and was stuck up in the lid.  I popped it out and put it back in the bottle, so now my fingers smelled like perfume.  Uhm, it wasn’t just my fingers… I was marinating in 1984.  I had become “that person” who sits next to you on a plane and takes up all the oxygen with that special cloud of “French Whore”.  I felt like I should be wearing a t-shirt that simply states, “I’m sorry”.

There was a teensy upside to this particular mess however.  But first…

Let me start by saying that when it comes to traveling, I am a rule-follower.  I am a firm believer that there should be two (very distinct and separate) security lines at the airport.  Possibly even two separate buildings.  Or maybe two separate airports.  But whatever.  There should at least be a separate line for people who have actually traveled by air before, and another for those who have not.  Anyone who gets in the “HAVE” line and screws up, gets sent to the “HAVE NOT” line to wait with the other newbies.  Forever.

I think I have actually sprained my eyes from stuff I have witnessed while in line at security.  The TSA agents are yelling like psychotic carnies…and I get it..but anyone who gets to the front of the line and doesn’t have their shit in order has zero excuses.

I stood behind a woman with a large carry-on, and I KNOW she heard them yelling that all food had to be removed from all bags before going on the conveyor belt.  Now, I *would* have said that, in her defense, this is a relatively new airport security development ( I didn’t even realize that I  had a tiny bag of airplane peanuts sitting in the bottom of my purse from the previous flight.  I won’t make THAT mistake again!), but when the bag was at the edge of the belt…ready to go through the x-ray machine…the agent looked at her and asked, “Is there any food in your bag?”.  She answered, “Well, yes, but nothing I was going to open.”  (eye-sprain. totally not kidding.)  So he asked her to remove it.  She proceeded to UNLOAD a full carry-on bag of freaking groceries right there on the belt!  At one point, I know she had more than 15 items and I felt like I was back at my local grocery store, grumbling about being in the “fast lane” behind one of “those people”.  OMG.  Even the agent looked like this was something he had never seen before.

They needed a bin to put the liberated food items into, so the agent asked me to move my purse into my other bin (let me quickly define “purse”.  I am a 53 year old woman who carries a canvas drawstring bag when she travels.  It’s not sexy, but it works for me.), so I did as I was told and grabbed the bag.  When I finally made it through the Pervy-Viewer (really…tell me I’m wrong) I picked up my bag and realized the drawstring opening was not tightly closed.  Then I realized I was smelling 1984 slightly stronger than in the Uber.  I watched as Food Woman started repacking and I saw it.  The now-empty bottle of 1984-scented perfume laying on the bottom of her grocery bin.  I can only assume a small puddle had formed, and then been absorbed by the boxes of food.

I don’t even feel a little bad.

I am now in my seat.  Buckled in.  Seatback and tray table in their full upright position. Everything except this laptop is stowed properly.

I reach over and grab an extra barf bag because it’s only been 36 hours, and I refuse to be a “newbie”.